By Dorothy Tucker

CHICAGO (CBS)– Shootings at schools across America have become a sobering reality, and officials at one Chicago school are taking the lead in preparing for a worst-case scenario.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker visited Whitney Young High School Friday, which last month became the first public school in Chicago to hold an emergency-response training program that simulates an active shooting scene with police, fire, SWAT, and others.

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Assistant principal Matthew Swanson said the realism of the drill helped school officials prepare for a worst-case scenario situation. School leaders were drilled in the details of the buildings layout, including the locations of closets, safes, vaults, and out-of-the-way bathrooms at the backs of offices.

“Places like that don’t necessarily have room numbers but we need to be able to identify if someone is calling from that area,” Swanson said.

CPS is now reviewing the drill, according to CPS chief of safety and security Jadine Chou.

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“We don’t want to get too specific, but I can tell you safely that these are things that will help us improve the integrity of our planning and will also help us tweak our training as well,” Chou said.

Whitney Young’s training drills are the first of many planned at public schools across the city.

Student Sarah Williams said teacher training programs for shooting emergencies offer increased security.

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“You can never really fully prepare for something like that to happen, but I’m glad they did take the initiative and they did go through it so we are more prepared,” Williams said.

Dorothy Tucker